50 Fun Things to Do in Houston during OTC’s 50th Show
Posted on Apr 29, 2018 by Kathy DeGlandon
OTC Houston turns 50 this year --fifty years of exhibitors showing new products, fifty years of sharing industry ideas, and fifty years of innovation. Now, it may take you several days to walk one of the largest shows in the industry, but we thought you might like a list of 50 fun things to do while in Houston. After all, all work and no play….
So, in honor of OTC Houston turning 50, here’s 50 fun things to do in Houston. Follow the links to find your fun, and the list is in alphabetical order because, let’s face it, we provided the list, but you’ll be the one deciding what’s fun. J
If you’re looking for a place to spend time outdoors, the 10 mile stretch from Sheperd Drive to Port of Houston is a popular place for outdoor activities. Picnic pavilions, a dog part, skateboarding park, and playground are just a few of the great activities at Buffalo Bayou.
Catch a Game at Minute Maid Park
Goooooo Astros! After winning the World Series last year, the Astros are sure to thrill. So grab some hot dogs, get good seats, and watch a great game at Minute Maid Park. And don’t forget to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. No… really don’t forget me, I love baseball. J
Culinary Tour – There’s more to Houston than just good barbeque. So if you’ve always wanted to taste all that Houston has to offer, then these walking culinary tours are for you. With three different tours to choose from, you could take one each night during OTC, and be glad you did.
Day Trip to the Gulf
Historic Galveston, Texas is just a short car ride from Houston and a great place to experience the Gulf of Mexico and Texas beaches. Walk down historic streets and experience Galveston. And, if you can spend more than a day, Moody Gardens has an aquarium, rainforest, theaters, museum, ropes course and so much more.
Don’t Push That Button – If you’re anywhere near the Wortham Theater, near Preston Street and Buffalo Bayou, look for the red button. Press it if you dare and watch what happens. Go on, it won’t hurt you. J
Exitus VR – A virtual escape room—what’s not to love. Never tried virtual reality? Or, maybe you’re a have but you like escape rooms, then Exitus VR is waiting for you. With 4 different rooms to experience, you’re sure to find an escape room that will help you escape from reality for a while.
Historic Downtown Pub Crawl
If you’ve often thought, so many bars, so little time, then this guided pub crawl will be just your thing. Not only do you get to see all the best bars and pubs in downtown Houston, you’ll also get a guided walking history tour.
Houston Theater – if you’d like to see a Broadway play or musical but don’t have time to visit New York, then check out what’s playing in one of Houston’s many theaters. The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts has many touring troupes to choose from. So, if you’d like to spend an evening catching a show, check out The Hobby Center for more information.
Houston Underground Tunnel Tour
Yep, if tunnels are your thing, then you can get a guided tour through the tunnels under Houston. See the city as most people never will by exploring these tunnels with a local guide.
Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, oh my! Visiting the Houston Zoo in spring is a great time to see your favorite animals up-close and incredible. With more than 6,000 animals calling the Houston Zoo home, you’re bound to see your favorite animal enjoying the cool, crisp springtime air. And, because the Houston Zoo is in the Museum district, you could even see your favorite animal and some awesome art.
Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston
“Houston, we have a problem.” I’m sure you’ve heard this famous line from Apollo 13’s crew; now, you can see where it all happened. Visit the Space Center to view the new exhibit, Mission to Mars, or even have Lunch with an Astronaut.
Kemah Boardwalk – located 20 miles from downtown, if you’re into rollercoasters, Ferris wheels and just good ole family fun, then the boardwalk at Kemah is for you. After all, they say, “The Fun Never Stops”.
The Houston Museum District has 19 museums divided into 4 walking zones that will provide something new and exciting for everyone to see. The Health Museum, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Contemporary Arts Museum are just a few of the museums available to tour daily. Whether you’re interested in art, history or science, you can find it in the Houston Museum District.
Rainy Day Fun
Okay, so it may rain, or you just may not like being outside much, while you’re in town for OTC. So, here are five things you can do indoors.
- The Escape Game Houston at CityCentre – escape games, for those who are not familiar, are puzzle rooms where you have to solve the puzzle in order to escape the room. So, if you and few of your friends are interested in spending an hour trying to find clues like a detective, then this is the adventure for you.
- Track 21 in Northwest Houston – Vroom, Vroom. Two, count them two, indoor go-kart tracks featuring 40 MPH racing, laser tag, blacklight mini golf, and arcade games, what’s not to love? Track 21 will have something for everyone.
- iFly Indoor Skydiving – Feel adventurous, but don’t want to jump out a perfectly good airplane? Then you’re like me and would just love to try indoor skydiving. Try iFly, and I’m sure you’ll be ready to soar again and again.
- TopGolf – Okay, so golf is usually played outdoors, but if the weather’s bad, and you’re jonesing for some golf, then TopGolf is for you. Think of it like playing golf like you would go bowling. Not to mention, if you have special tracking enabled, you can get feedback on your swing – a good way to spend a day teeing off.
Real Texas Barbeque
If it’s your first time to Houston or Texas, then you just have to try real Texas barbeque. So here’s 16 places to eat barbeque in the Houston area. And, I’m sure if you look at any major intersection in Houston, you’re bound to find something good to eat.
Sam Houston Park – The Heritage Society in Sam Houston Park, allows you the opportunity to tour authentically restored building and to experience Houston’s history through a variety of exhibits, collections, and events. A great place to spend a quiet day learning more about the city you’re spending time in.
Shop Vintage Stores in the Heights – funky and eclectic are what these stores are all about, and browsing through all of these unique stores is just half the fun. If you’re looking for an evening gown, vintage jewelry, antique household items, or just about anything else kitsch, then shopping the stores on 19th street are just for you.
Sights to See
- Beer Can House -- So this is a bit weird, but it caught our eye. And, I’m sure it will catch yours! Sponsored by the Orange Show: Center for Visionary Art, this house was built between the years of 1968 to 1988 by one man. Yep, one man. Tours are available on Saturday and Sunday, but even if you just want to ride by, you’d see something you haven’t seen before. The Orange Show also offers tours at The Orange Show Monument and Smither Park, a creative space developed by visionary artist Dan Phillips and Stephanie Smither, who designed the park for her late husband. Lots to see.
- WaterWall – near the Galleria, the Water Wall is a place to sit and relax and watch one of Houston’s most photographed locations. This amazing architecture pumps 78,500 gallons of recycled water every three hours and 20 minutes down a 64 foot U-shaped fountain – truly a sight to see.
- Galleria – love shopping? Check out the Galleria located in the Uptown District. With 3 million total square feet of space, and one of the largest malls in the US, there’s sure to be something for everyone.
Trains and Pedal Boats at Herman Park – Herman Park, over 100 years old, offers numerous places to enjoy outdoor spaces. But, if you’d like to spend a little time pedaling on the water or chugging along in a train, then Herman Park is the place for you. Take a leisurely trek on these two modes of transportation, and you’ll have a great time in Herman Park.
Waugh Drive Bat Colony – according to the website, one of Houston’s best kept secrets is its bat population. The Mexican Free-tailed bat colony lives under the Waugh Bridge, and you can watch their nightly leaving the bridge to feast on mosquitos and other pests, all from the Buffalo Bayou Park observation deck.
If you’re a World War history buff or just like ships, then the Battleship Texas tour you will not want to miss. Imagine life as a sailor as you walk her decks and climb throughout the ship. And, if you have some time, why not visit the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic site that overlooks Buffalo Bayou.
Wet N Wild – If you’ve never experienced summer in the Deep South, you will understand why we have waterparks. Wet N Wild is a great place to soak up some sun, ride the slides, and have a great day with family and friends.
So, that’s the big list of 50, but it’s not exhaustive, and I’m sure you will find lots to do in Houston when you visit. We congratulate the event planners of OTC Houston and thank the support staff for 50 years of assistance for putting on a great show for us oilfield types. Here’s to 50 more! Now, where’s my car keys; time to go have some fun in Houston.